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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kids Crafts: Capture the Summer Shore



Autumn is beautiful. The burst of colors, the changes all around, the harvest bounty, the preparation for the colder months ahead... something to cherish and appreciate.

Autumn brings not just falling leaves, but falling rain for some of us. Lots and lots of rain. Now that we are in the thick of autumn, summer seems like a distant memory. As the soggy air and gloomy skies confines us indoors more and more, these simple crafts done as a farewell to summer lifts our spirits.

Beach-combing during summer was fun with Ana. We collected quite a few interesting items, cleaned and stowed them away, hoping to use them when inspiration hits.

Items used: shells, glue, construction paper, poster paper, scissors, tempera paints, toothbrush

Four simple projects: [clicking on individual images below shows a nicer, clearer picture]
  1. Beach Scene Collage
  2. Shell Butterfly
  3. Shell Wind Chime
  4. Recycled Foil Mobile
1.Beach Scene Collage



  • We tried this on black poster paper as well as white; poster paper is thicker than card-stock and can bear the weight of the shells better; of course any heavy paper would work well; I personally liked the black background for this collage.
  • Simply use the toothbrush to pick up and spray some paint to create the "sand".
  • Glue some shells, perhaps some dried moss; for the waves, we tried torn tissue paper on one, and wavy-cut construction paper in the other collage.
  • While the perspective and proportions are terrible, the boat on the ocean, looking out onto the shore on black background turned out to be our favorite
  • Cutting the crab was easy enough once I drew the lines for Ana, but, gluing it on wasn't as satisfactory so she enlisted my help.
2. Shell Butterfly


kids craft beach summer sea shells crafts collages
  • One of our beach-combing finds was a set of clam shells of varying sizes; as she tried different configurations for gluing it on the collage, she realized it looks like butterfly wings, which led to this little project
  • Again, we tried on black and white poster paper; clam-shell for one (which is hinged and folds in half usually), and two regular shells for another.
  • Apply glue to the butterfly body shape and shake some colorful glitter, allow to dry; or simply paint the body.


kids craft beach summer sea shells crafts collages

3. Shell Wind Chime
  • Some interesting driftwood and twigs were among our beach-combing finds; I liked this particular curly piece of wood to make a sort of mobile or wind-chime.
  • Simply tie the shells close to each other, using cotton yarn, at varying heights if preferred; any configuration is fine as long as two of them are close to each other so they can clang and make music when the wind blows.
  • Or, can string a small bell before attaching the shells for extra music


4. Recycled Foil Mobile

kids craft beach summer sea shells crafts collages
  • There is usually some aluminum foil from some baking or food wrapping for kids that, after a couple of uses, seems unfit for reuse; we clean and smooth some of them out as much as possible and store them for foil creatures.
  • Shape the foil, glue on tissue paper using glue diluted with water, allow to dry; add a layer or two of paint if preferred.
  • For the summer shore theme, we made sea stars, sea gulls and sea shells. However, can do pumpkins and apples for fall, stars and ornaments for the winter holidays... shaping is the tough part: Seagull was just a kidney bean shape and shell was sort of like a fan which Ana could handle; sea star was tricky for her (and for me) to shape, but was fun.

kids craft beach summer sea shells crafts collages

The wind chime and mobile have survived hanging on the deck during these past few weeks despite the gusty winds thrashing them around callously. And the collages cheer up the wall on the nook which I get an unhindered view of them every time I am in the kitchen; while the living room highlights the Autumn crafts we've been making...

We'd probably start on some holiday crafts after Thanksgiving, but, for now, it is nice to the have kids' work (well, Ana's mostly) capture the moods of the seasons...

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